Midwives and doctors praise PNG efforts, urge an acceleration in Australia’s response

Australian midwives and doctors have urged acceleration of efforts to help Papua New Guinea as the country faces a growing COVID crisis.


The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZOG) said the situation in one of Australia’s closet neighbours was concerning, and that the thoughts and best wishes of both Colleges’ members were with PNG healthcare workers and the wider community, at this time.


ACM President Professor Joanne Gray said: “Midwives are the key health workers providing maternity care in PNG. There is a strong bond between Australian midwives and our colleagues in PNG. Supporting these critical frontline workers is essential.”


RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach said: “We deeply value our connection with midwives, doctors and the people of PNG. The recent developments are heartbreaking. Australia must support our Pacific neighbours to help avert an almost certain catastrophe.”


“We commend the Australian Government for their initial response but would urge expediency with delivery of vaccines, at least enough to ensure that frontline health workers and high-risk individuals are vaccinated immediately.”

Background
RANZCOG is committed to women’s health in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. The College has helped build an obstetrics and gynaecology workforce capacity in the Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, for decades.


ACM is the peak professional body for midwives in Australia and also works with midwives in our neighbouring countries. In 2019, in partnership with Rotary, ACM established a leadership buddy program with PNG midwives to improve maternal and newborn wellbeing through training in leadership.